Developer: Total ArKade Software
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.02
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

IMG_0510There once was a time when certain iOS games had a sheen of flash to them. We are not talking “flash” as in the “flashy presentation” kind of way, but rather, they shared a striking resemblance to a browser-based flash game. These occurrences have subsided somewhat over the last few years, but every once in a blue moon a title still ends up on our radar, despite its somewhat lackluster visuals. Froot ‘n’ Nutz is just that game, hoping to channel the likes of Fruit Ninja, while taking a couple of nutty liberties with the gameplay mechanics.

It goes without saying that we have more than a few Fruit Ninja clones cross the review desk each year. Froot ‘n’ Nutz is unabashedly one of those titles, but what sets it apart is the unique approach to objective based slashing. Instead of mindlessly hacking away at the screen like a samurai on a bender, the game asks the player to be conscious of what order they are destroying their precious produce. In one mode, much like the name would imply, the player must alternate between slicing fruits and nuts. Sure, that may sound simple on paper, but once the screen becomes flooded with flying items, it will take a whole new set of skills to discern what order to dispatch with the madness.

Another mode actually counts on the player (pun totally intended) to be able to dice up projectiles in the correct order, depending upon how they are labeled numerically. Being able to both pick out the numbers as well as effectively cut them in order is another unique skillset that requires the player to use a bit more of their gray matter than what would be traditionally found in its peers within the genre.

IMG_0509The one big issue with Froot ‘n’ Nutz, other than the title’s obvious need for a quick run through a spellchecker, is how it appears visually. To put it bluntly, the game is ugly. Inclusion of split screen multiplayer and boss fights do attempt to add a bit more variety to the core product, but it is still very difficult to get past the bad animations and lackluster sprite design.

A game like Froot ‘n’ Nutz is a hidden gem that is likable, even despite itself. It will certainly not be winning any awards for art style anytime soon, but for those looking for a unique twist on something they already enjoy, this may prove to be a diamond in the rough. If nothing else, start out with the free version and see if it suits your fancy.

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